Mind Hack Monday – She Shells

No matter how introverted I say I am I still need to connect with people. But that connection hasn’t always been easy for me to make. And, recently, I have been wondering why it is so hard.

Not that I don’t have friends. I have actually been blessed with many wonderful close friends. They are truly amazing, so I guess I must be doing something right. But, well, I just moved to a new city and now I am faced with the prospect of having to build a social life from scratch.

Moving can be exciting. You get a fresh start, on everything, even who you are, or, at least, how you present yourself to others. This time, I told myself, I am going to be more outgoing. I’ll try to talk to people I wouldn’t normally talk to. I’ll have more confidence, be less guarded, and be a better listener.  You know, “be myself” but better. 😛

Contemplating my struggle with friendships and relationships makes me think of my daughter, whose friendship mojo is strong. In the six weeks since we have moved here she has made several really good friends, had 3 sleepovers, and almost daily invitations for playdates/hang outs. Her social calender is so full it needs 13 months.

Not that I want that. I couldn’t handle that. But I would like to make at least a few meaningful connections. And it would be nice if it didn’t seem so hard.

I recognize that a big part of my problem is my impatience. I haven’t yet figured out how to enjoy the slow and somewhat obscure process of vetting, I mean, making friends.  In the past I relied on intuitive (snap) judgements regarding compatibility. But, the new me, in my new city of Brotherly Love, is trying out new things and new people. I am meditating on remaining open, and curious. And that helps, a little bit. But sometimes it doesn’t.

Of course, sometimes I have to think “Maybe it is just me.” Maybe everyone else I know easily makes full and satisfying friendships. Maybe they often get that experience of being “known” and accepted. Maybe once an outsider, always an outsider. (and maybe feeling negative about the process isn’t really helping:P)

I don’t know. I really don’t. All I can do is just keep showing up and putting myself out there. Or maybe I should give up looking for a specific outcome but somehow not give up on the process. But, I should probably not crawl back into my shell. Unless maybe it is my shell that somehow, paradoxically draws other interesting shell dwellers to it.

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About Annamelle

I split my time between homeschooling and writing a novel. I'm interested in and inspired by fairy tales, Jung, Buddhism, myths, architecture, nature, etiquette, hidden histories, dreams, Emerson, old books, Gaiman, and legends. "Make the most of yourself....for that is all there is of you." — Emerson

Posted on October 10, 2011, in advice, buddhism, friends, intensity, letting go, meditation. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. I have to say that my best friend relationships happened quite organically. Often based on some kind of similar routine. Two friends were folks I met while riding the same long-haul commuter bus every day for nearly two years. That’s a lot of time to sit and chat. Of course, that assumes that there are people worth chatting with. There were a large number of folks on those buses I had no real interest in chatting with. But, at the same time, I wouldn’t have met these two women if it hadn’t been for that bus.

    The rest have all been friends of friends, for the most part. Again, though, that means it has been someone that I was interacting with on a regular basis.

    I always wonder how I would make new friends if we up and moved to a whole new place. I suppose I’d try to establish some kind of routine based on my interests and see who I met.

    Good luck to you!

    • That makes sense Karenish. Back in South Bend I didn’t venture out into the public that much. But I am trying to be more interactive here. I was invited to take a Hebrew class on Sundays, there is also a Buddhist meditation place down the street. And I was toying with the idea of taking music lessons, maybe a group class at the Learning Center.

      Thanks!

  2. Well, I’m a shell dweller, so I vote to stay inside.

    We’ve moved around a lot, so there’ve been moves where I never even met the neighbors before we relocated again. I’d think “I’m so lame…” If I haven’t met the neighbors in the first two years, we can’t be friends.

    It took me two years to meet and start hanging out with people in our homeschool group… 2 years seems to be a good timeframe, so I think you’re still okay. 🙂

  3. At some point after a move to a new city I realized that the basis for an awful lot of friendships was alcohol rituals, stemming from an earlier phase of life.

    I’m friending on a different principle now; hope you make lots of new buddies in your new city. 🙂

  4. Wow, so much of what you wrote resonated with me, and I haven’t moved to a new city in years! I have liked being pleasantly surprised by people if I have time to get to know them. I have one friend that I’ve known for about 5 years, and just this last year I’ve started to find out how much we really have in common. (Of course now our weekly shared event is no more . . . ) Then again, some people reveal themselves to be asses pretending to be cool people, too, but let’s not dwell on that . . .

  5. This post is soo me. I have a very hard time putting myself out there. I think a lot has to do with allowing people to actually get to know me. I tend to think that if I keep myself guarded then I can’t get hurt once people know the real me. I know it’s a silly way to do things. Since we moved a little over a year ago to a whole new place, I thought it would be like a fresh start. But I tend to find that I still have trouble getting past my own hang ups. My family recently told me that I wear my feelings. Meaning that my body language is easily readable, perhaps my insecurity shows a bit too much.
    On another note, I think it’s marvelous that your putting yourself out there!

    • Gwen, I often wonder if people can read me better than I think they can and that maybe that is not a good thing.

      But, having met you, done the whole first impressions thing, gotten to know you and befriended you. I don’t think you come across as having low self-esteem.

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